NBC affiliates are asking that a combined Comcast-NBC Universal be prohibited from forcing its affiliates to "accept unfavorable affiliation agreement provisions to obtain market-based retransmission consent payments,” B&C reports.
The language was taken from prepared testimony of NBC affiliate board chair Michael Fiorile being readied for Thursday’s House hearing on the deal.
His testimony doesn’t suggest that the NBC affiliates think that the combined company has plans to influence retransmission consent negotiations, just that they want safeguards to make sure it won’t.
Furthermore, according to Reuters, "Affiliates’ concerns focus on whether Comcast will have the incentive to invest in and offer the best shows — such as ’30 Rock’ — to NBC affiliates and whether they would be offered to cable stations or streaming video sites."
–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross